Paving his way back: Hamas
politburo chief Khaled Mashaal has implied that he may return to the movement's leadership, despite his recent decision not to run for another term.
Mashaal, who received a standing ovation Sunday at the Turkish ruling party's convention in Ankara, referred to his decision not to compete for the Hamas leadership at the sidelines of the conference.
He said he still enjoyed a majority among members of the Shura Council, but added, "I am sticking to my wish to stay away, at least temporarily."
According to Mashaal, reports about differences of opinion between his camp and the "Gazan camp" led by Ismail Haniyeh are inaccurate.
Mashaal and Erdogan at Turkish ruling party convention (Photo: AP)
Mashaal claimed during the conference of the Justice and Development Party, headed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that he enjoyed a great amount of support among Hamas leaders in the Strip.
On Sunday, Mashaal said his movement was committed to the liberation of Palestine and the creation of a Palestinian state, but did not mention whether it would be established within the 1967 borders.
"We are committed to liberating our land and taking back Jerusalem, dismantling the settlements and bringing back refugees, freeing the prisoners jailed by the Zionist occupier and establishing a real Palestinian state, with true sovereignty in spite of the enemy," he said in Ankara.
The Hamas leader stressed that "resistance" was the only means towards reinstating Palestinian rights. He said that all other international attempts to press Israel to back down had failed.
Erdogan, who also hosted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, promised that Turkey was determined to speak out against what he called Israel's
"state terrorism" in the region.